Our job search questions answered by Holly Fawcett, Marketing Operations Manager at Social Talent.
“Almost all jobs are attained by leaning on your network, even tenuous connections. Referrals are the number one source of hire for almost every single company. Use what you’ve got, that’s what I’d recommend!”
Part 4: If you’re looking to advance your career should a recruiter be your first port of call?
Last time on this series we found out how to make your LinkedIn profile pop and discovered when the truth is the best policy, but now what’s next? Your profile may be All-Star but perhaps you’re still not getting the traction you had hoped for. At this stage you may start to consider contacting a recruiter or seeking some professional career guidance. If you’re looking to take the next step professionally either route can be a very useful, but how do you go about finding the company that’s right for you and what do you if you don’t have the resources to access one. It is important to set realistic expectations and be goal orientated, recruiters and career counsellors cannot make up for any experience you are lacking. However, by taking a step back and identifying your strengths it is likely that you may have many more skills than you initially thought. Once you’ve done your own homework, start researching companies that you want to work with be sure that you are comfortable with your choice before you start handing over your hard-earned money. With aim of getting things right the first time round let’s jump on to question number two and find out Holly’s insights on the great recruiter vs career guidance conundrum.
Is it worth chatting to recruiters one on one? If you are looking to advance your career should a recruiters be your first port of call or would you recommend a career guidance course instead?
Holly says: Everyone gives career advice, everyone likes to tell others how they started out, and talk about their job. If you’re looking to advance your career, or are actively seeking a new job, talk to everyone. Ask them what they do, what they like about their jobs, how they got to their position now and what advice they would have for you. Getting the widest opinions on careers is what I would advise. Otherwise, how are you supposed to choose a career path if you don’t know your options? Recruiters and career guidance counsellors can be amazing resources, but not everyone has one of those at their disposal.
Using a recruiter at a staffing agency can be a great option, but many job seekers aren’t rigorous interviewers of recruiters as recruiters are rigorous about the job seekers they take on. Job seekers apply blindly to recruitment firms in the hope that it’ll lead to a job interview with their client. Why not turn the tables, and interview the recruiter? Ask them, what’s their placement success rate? What is their relationship like with clients, and how much repeat business do they get from them? What steps do they take to prepare candidates for interview, and what feedback do they give back to candidates post-interview? Almost no recruiter is asked about their performance by candidates. This will surely surprise the majority of recruiters, and make them want to fight as hard as they can to place you.
If you’re in the job market, it’s important to tell your family and friends. The world is a small place, someone will know someone who can connect you to the person in the company you want to work in, or in the job you want to do. Just the other day, my own father was visiting a friend when he learned that his friend’s daughter was applying to a company that he knew was one of my clients. He immediately called me to ask me to refer her to the recruitment team, which I did. She had an interview a week later, ahead of the rest of the milkround.
Almost all jobs are attained by leaning on your network, even tenuous connections. Referrals are the number one source of hire for almost every single company. Use what you’ve got, that’s what I’d recommend!